Journey to wellness: Juicing and smoothies
The pros and cons of these trendy diets
By Josiah Groth
Lots of food fads come and go. The juicing fad has recently been overtaken by the smoothie fad, which will soon be taken over by a new trend.
While I enjoy and recommend both smoothies and juicing, I wanted to dig a little deeper into a couple of the reasons that these are beneficial practices. Both juices and smoothies work with the digestive system to increase the nutrient density of a meal and to decrease the barriers to bringing those nutrients into your body.
Juicing is a great way to increase nutrient density in particular. By extracting all of the juices and leaving the heavy pulp, you create a situation where you can get much of the nutrients from a piece of fruit while taking up only a fraction of the space in your stomach. In this way you can juice many times the amount of fruit and veggies that you could eat in a day. Juice also takes very little energy to digest, keeping all your energy available for detoxification.
One of the cons of juicing is that you leave behind a couple important dietary items in the discarded fruit shavings. Also, you must purchase a juicing machine, and it takes a bit of time to clean.
Smoothies require a slightly different approach. They do not focus on providing such intense nutrient density, but they make fruits and vegetables much easier to digest because a blender has already chewed up the food. Smoothies give you all the fiber and nutrients that you would be dumping out in the pulp after juicing. It does not let you get the number of vegetable servings that juicing does because you are eating the whole vegetable, but it does a great job of delivering nutrients that are digestible.
Caution: The new smoothie fad is all about prepackaged smoothie mixes. The tradeoff with these easy to make powdered products is that they do not have the vitality and active enzymes of real foods.
Many healing diets and cleanses are built around the two core concepts of getting high nutrient density into the body and decreasing the energy it takes to digest it. Smoothies and juicing deliver on both of these key points and should be considered parts of a healthy diet or for special cleanses.
Looking for a simple juice recipe to start? Try three carrots, two apples, and one stalk of celery. Add a pinch of ginger for some spice.
A nice place to start with smoothies is ½ cup apple juice, ½ cup yogurt, and 1 cup of your favorite frozen berry.
Josiah Groth is the owner of Back to Bliss Wellness. More information on his practice is available at backtoblisswellness.com.
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